JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11) -- A Southern Indiana former funeral director could be out of jail in less than a year after pleading guilty to more than 60 felony counts in Clark County.
It’s been more than two years since Richard Pyke was arrested for funeral-related crimes such as reporting a person dead and pocketing their burial insurance money.
He also admitted to giving people what they thought were their cremated loved ones, but turned out not to be. In court Monday he admitted to doing things like that in Henryville and Memphis, Ind. as far back as 1992.
As he pleaded guilty he gave some insight as to why he defrauded people from New Albany to Henryville, many of them seniors and people in mourning. In Pyke’s own words, he was trying to “keep up with the Joneses” spending money he didn’t have and getting it by taking money for services he didn’t provide.
For the 64 counts of theft, insurance fraud, and violation of cremation statues, Pyke faced as many as 16 years in jail. A judge did sentence him to 16 years however she suspended 10 years of the punishment. Pyke stands to have the remaining six years in jail cut in half for good behavior. He’s already served just over two and a half years behind bars, which means he could be up for release in nine to 10 months.
In August 2011 Pyke was sentenced in Floyd County court for similar crimes through his New Albany funeral home. His two year sentence will run concurrent to his Clark County sentence.